MELBOURNE, Australia – The Philippine Fiesta of Victoria is celebrating its 35th year on 25-26 November 2017 at the Polish Club, 19 Carrington, Drive Albion with the theme “MALAWAK NA PANANAW PARA SA MAUNLAD NA PAMAYANAN (“A Broad Perspective for a Progressive Community). Organizers said it is call for every member of the Filipino-Australian community to have a wider and positive view in paving the way for growth and improvement of the community where they belong have an open mind that would bring about beneficial changes and tangible progress in the community.
The Fiesta is managed by the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc (PFVI), a non-profit organization whose primary objective is to promote the Philippine customs and traditions.
Utang na loob (Debts-of-Gratitude); Bayanihan (Helping-one-another); Pakikisama (Smooth Interpersonal Relationship); Kababaang- Loob (Humility) and Kasipagan (Industry) are some of the Filipino transformative values that Philippine Fiesta wish to underscore in this year’s celebration. Most importantly, the mind-set of love, pride and assistance in one’s ethnic community.
For years, Fiesta has been depending on countless people who voluntarily give their energy time and invaluable services (from planning to execution) to this festival. As early as January, the PFVI Committee starts to plan the next fiesta celebration with the assistance of its members and volunteers. Like any other communal endeavours, Fiesta needs cooperation, dedication, coordination, patience and most of all, hard work.
The Philippine Fiesta does not receive any grants from the Australian Government, Its revenue is derived from the sales of entrance fees during the two-day festivity, donations and sponsors, advertisers, raffles, marquee rentals from food and dry good stalls and from the beauty and charity quests.
As a showcase for the Filipino language, arts and culture, the Fiesta features a two-day program depicting traditional and modern Filipino songs, dances and music; offers favourite Filipino cuisines and drinks; initiates Filipino games and local sports, holds fashion shows that depict the modern and colourful ethnic attires of the archipelago; Filipiniana exhibits that underscores Philippine history; arts and crafts; wrestling; colourful traditional parades such as Santacruzan, Flores de Mayo Dinagyang and Ati-Atihan; exciting rides for children; face painting and many more. Fiesta has something for everyone. Significantly, the annual festival becomes an exciting venue for meeting family, relatives and friends.
The Philippine Fiesta is the original and longest-running Filipino Fiesta in Victoria. It is open to all nationalities and multicultural groups. For 34 years it has been celebrated without a break despite few obstacles that it encountered. Thanks to the dedication and tenacity of its members and its active and hardworking management committee.
This year’s celebration underpins the importance of every member of the Filipino-Australian community to have a wider and positive view of looking at their community for its progress and development.
Manny Asuncion is a director, playwright, and author from Australia. He writes for the Philippine Daily Mirror and other publications.